Sleeping Eating

In the abbey grounds, walkers can kip in the seven-bunk, stone Refuge de Montagne, a stone hut with electricity and a toilet-and-shower block, but no drinking water. In Casteil, Camping Domaine St-Martin ( % 04 68 05 52 09;; 6 blvd de la Cascade; 2 adults, tent & car low/mid-/high season €8/12/18; SMar-Nov; @) is well equipped and has a pool.

Relais St-Martin ( % 04 68 05 56 76; 1 chemin de St-Martin de Canigou, Casteil; d with shared bathroom €20, d/tr €35/38) Salads and light grills (two-/three-course lunch menu €12/14.50) are the mainstay of this mountain inn, set at the start of the footpath up to the abbey. Views are green and lovely.

Hôtel-Restaurant Le Molière ( % 04 68 05 50 97;, Casteil; d €43-49; S Apr-Oct) On the left as you arrive in the hamlet, this Casteil hotel is an institution thanks to the creative light lunches (tarts and salads €10 to €12) it serves English-style on its green lawn.

Les Deux Lions ( % 04 68 05 55 42;; 18 blvd Clémenceau, Vernet-les-Bains; d incl breakfast from €60; S mid-Apr-mid-Oct; ® ) Sage-green shutters shield the mustard town house from the sun at this friendly five-room chambre d'hôte, at the foot of the village. To really relax, go for a room with bijou terrace and canvas deckchair overlooking the garden.

Le Mas Fleuri ( % 04 68 05 51 94; www.hotellemas; 25 blvd Clémenceau, Vernet-les-Bains; d/tr/q from €85/130/209; S mid-Apr-mid-Oct; ®) A South American doctor arrived in Vernet during WWI and had this wonderful house with tree-studded park built - the smell of lime-tree blossom in early July is intoxicating. Sadly, the salon is the only room still in use. Bar breakfast, the rest of the hotel action happens in the purpose-built 1970s block opposite. Low-season rates are substantially less.

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